PLAZA 57 was among the first mixed-use developments in South Miami built under the “Hometown Master Plan” ordinances of the mid-1990s. Located at 7301 SW 57th Court, the elegant Plaza 57 building combines retail, restaurant, office and garage uses. Designed by local architect Jason Chandler, the arcaded walkways span wide sidewalks inviting pedestrians to stroll and visit the retail businesses along the arcade: Hand & Stone, SOMI Nail Spa, Biscayne Bank, D & L Hair Studio, haute-couture boutique Lucy Agnes, and the corner’s landmark restaurant Town Kitchen & Bar, where lovers of outdoor dining to gather, enjoy the cool shade, and experience South Miami.
In just 10 short years, Town Kitchen & Bar has earned its status as the go-to neighborhood restaurant that partners Brandon Lurie and John Janette had initially envisioned. TOWN has become such a staple on the SOMI dining scene that it’s sometimes difficult to remember a time when it wasn’t there.
Comfortable, yet sophisticated, TOWN’s interior appointments invite you to enjoy one of Executive Chef Mike Altman’s signature dishes or one of the bar’s generously-poured lychee martinis. An extensive, appropriately-priced wine list is one that is always being refined and updated by John Janette; which explains why TOWN keeps receiving the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence year after year. The décor is an edgy mix of the industrial with high ceilings and exposed ductwork contrasted by comfortable couches and pendant lights with an amber glow. Photographs on the walls feature family partners and friends. The outdoor patio lounge seating and tables offer bar service and dining al fresco.
“We created a concept that combined friends, family, great service and global comfort food. We wanted a place where people would feel comfortable enough to come to a couple of times a week, a real neighborhood joint,” said Janette.
From the beginning, it was the partners’ objective to be engaged in the community via charitable contributions to area schools and non-profits such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Relay for Life, and Baptist Hospital, among others. They donate about $10,000 annually through TOWN gift certificates, hosting events in-house, celebrity bartending events, gifting back a percentage of proceeds from a charity event held at the restaurant, and an annual MS fundraiser. Recently, they hosted a fundraiser for the Friends of the Ludlam Trail, a coalition dedicated to building a 6.2 mile linear park with bicycle and walking trails along an abandoned FEC rail corridor in Miami-Dade County.
They succeeded. Together with partner Chef Altman, Lurie and Janette have forged the winning combination, creating one of South Miami’s most popular restaurants. Ideal for the family and a great adult hangout, TOWN appeals to a broad spectrum of patrons from the local and surrounding communities.
The Chef’s interest in preparing crowd-pleasing food started in his youth, helping out with his father’s catering business. Originally from Long Island, New York, he moved to Miami in 2005. Altman is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He honed his skills working under renowned restaurateur Charlie Palmer.
“I like the hometown feel of TOWN and South Miami,” said Chef Altman. “Global comfort food, simply prepared with a hip flair is what we have achieved here.”
The menu never disappoints, whether it is your favorite triple-ground TOWN burger, a pot of comforting mussels, or an array of small plates to share with friends at midnight. The Chef introduces new and seasonal dishes to the menu on a regular basis. For the tenth anniversary month of October, Chef will be preparing vintage dishes that were featured on TOWN menus from the past. They will be featured every night for one month during
their anniversary celebration.
TOWN serves lunch and dinner seven days a week and offers one of the best weekend breakfast/brunch menus in the neighborhood. Happy hours and ladies night promotions, late night DJ, and specialty cocktails make sure the place is always vibrant. Look for discounted wine by the bottle during the week and for the arrival of beers from local microbreweries.
In addition to being one of the best “in” places, TOWN offers catering services and space for private events within the main restaurant and in the adjacent “Side Bar.” An intimate and relaxed venue, the Side Bar is the perfect party room featuring its own bar and a special menu.
For more information, call 305-740-8118 or visit at www.townkitchenbar.com. Garage and on-street parking are available.